Biography of Edwin D. Ford
North Central Ohio Biographies

Edwin D. Ford. Among the men of Mansfield, whose large transactions in real estate have stimulated business and contributed to the growth of the city and its environs, the leader perhaps is Edwin D. Ford, who is also a member of one of the community's best families. Mr. Ford was born at Mansfield, Jan. 23, 1872, the son of Patrick P. and Mary C. (Stone) Ford.

Hon. Thomas H. Ford, grandfather of Edwin D. Ford, was a prominent attorney of Richland County, and served as Lieutenant-Governor of Ohio from 1856 until 1858, during the gubernatorial administration of Hon. Salmon P. Chase. Thomas H. Ford was the original captain of Company C, Third Ohio Regiment, which was organized in 1846 and mustered out of service at New Orleans, La., June 23, 1847. Judge Osborne, upon the death of Judge Milton W. Worden, in referring to attorneys who had passed away, said of Thomas H. Ford: "A Ford of grand stature, of great physical strength, with intellectual endowments if aroused equal to any emergency, but for the most time inactive and useless, because not used." General Brinkerhoff wrote: "When I was a student of law in 1850-51 the giants of the Mansfield bar said of Ford: Thomas H. Ford was at his best and was a man of great natural powers, but was indolent and careless and did not make the mark he might have made at the bar.' "

Patrick P. (Pat) Ford was one of the best known and most liked men of Mansfield. For many years he operated a grocery but later, for at least 20 years, was superintendent of the Sherman-Heinman Park. He died Feb. 28, 1922, at the age of 75 years His wife died in 1920. One of the leading bankers of Mansfield, when asked who is the richest man in Mansfield, answered: "Pat Ford." While he did not accumulate property, he always paid his debts, had a wide circle of warm friends, and got the greatest possible amount of enjoyment out of life. He was a loyal citizen in every respect and others reaped richly from his life. For years he was active in the affairs of the Humane Society.

Edwin D. Ford, after some years of association with his father in the grocery business, began to deal in horses and soon became the best known horse trader and shipper in this region. His early training had been to the effect that he should save at least a few pennies out of every dollar earned and to keep out of debt, but after trying this system until he was past middle life, he came to the conclusion that this policy would not yield him great wealth. He thereupon began to assume obligations. His investments on borrowed money yielded him large returns, and attaining added confidence as well as wealth, he increased the scope of his enterprises. For 20 years he has been a trader and no deal is too large for him to handle. Ever keeping his credit above reproach, it has not been difficult for him to finance large deals, most of which have yielded handsome returns.

Mr. Ford is now the largest borrower in the city, and one of Mansfield's leading landholders. He is proprietor of the West Fourth Street Market, which is the largest in Mansfield, having many stalls which are available for rental.

Mr. Ford married Miss Ann Snyder, whose father, Henry Snyder, was for many years the proprietor of a grocery in Mansfield. They have three children: Kathryn, married Forrest Bancroft, lives at Mansfield; Thomas E., a graduate of Miami College, lives at Ashland; and Mary Alice, at home.

Mr. Ford is a member of the Baptist Church and is on the board of the Friendly House. He is also connected with numerous civic and social fraternities in Mansfield.

Mr. Ford is a director of the First Citizens National Bank & Trust Company.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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